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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  December 22, 2017 12:00am-1:00am PST

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tonight on "all in," dz sr. to the 1,000th time, we have no >> the secret and not so secret efforts to discredit the fbi and the special counsel. >> key members of this investigation are loyalists of either the obama administration and/or hillary clinton. >> there basically was collusion to try to prevent donald trump from becoming president. tonight, new signs that the justice department is being used for political purposes as republicans target federal investigators. >> whenever it seems mueller is getting closer and closer to the white house, it seems that we're trying to turn to something else. then, the man who get the power to start impeachment proceedings if democrats win back the house. into plus, the never trumpers now shunned by other conservatives. and the fundamental misunderstanding of trump's new tax plan by his own people. >> i'm really looking forward to doing a lot of traveling in
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april when a lot of people realize the effect that this has. >> when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. within the last hour, the senate followed the house and passed a bill to keep the government from shutting down which includes money from the health insurance plan but no relief for 800,000 dreamers who remain in limbo. officials are starting to head home for the holidays but they do so amid dread that they are trying to undermine and discredit the russia investigation. >> we have a situation here where whenever it seems as if mueller is getting closer and closer to the white house, it seems that we're distracted to something else. and so now they've reached into their book of -- playbook of tricks and now they are pulling this out today. >> elijah cummings is referring to andrew mccabe.
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lawmakers have called mccabe twice this week foreclosed-door interviews as they work to cast doubt on the impartiality of the fbi. >> mr. cummings, are you concerned about hearing today? >> well, we got less than 48 hours. as a matter of fact, at the same time that mr. dowdy was grilling mccabe, they sent me out for this. certainly this is an effort to discredit the fbi. >> for weeks, trump tv has worked hard town dermine the russia investigation by casting the fbi so unabsurdly has a hotbed of liberalism. >> over the last month or so, it's been demonstrated that key members of this investigation are loyalists of either the obama administration or hillary clinton. >> they are enthusiastically embracing trump tv. devin nunes led a group of house
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republicans who have gathered secretly for weeks in the capitol in an effort to build a case that senior leaders of the justice department and fbi improperly and perhaps criminally mishandled the contents of a dossier that describes alleged ties between president donald trump and russia. at the same time, a parade of republicans are insisting it's time to investigate the real scandal. >> you know, we've had this investigation about russian collusion. maybe we need an investigation about high-ranking obama officials colluding to try to prevent trump from being president. that's more serious than even watergate. >> put that in your collusion pipe and smoke it. attorney general jeff sessions has directed justice department prosecutors to ask fbi agents
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for information about the so-called uranium one deal which they have seized on to push an anti-hillary clinton conspiracy theory. congress has signed a letter in support of the mueller investigation. >> we have decided we will not stand by and allow fox news and right-wing republicans to defy the rule of law and create their own rules to interfere with the legitimate investigation under the constitution of the united states. >> congressman cummings told reporters that the very idea of american democracy is at stake. ? this. >> this is a fight for the soul of our democracy. nothing less. and so i'm going to work hard to make sure we save that democracy and i will fight until i die. >> joining me now, congressman adam schiff, ranking member of the house intelligence committee.
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congressman, first, let me ask you about devin nunes who was recused from anything having to do with -- supposedly recused from the russia investigation meeting in secret with other members of the committee to kind of plot out investigation of the investigate to haves. did you know about that? >> no. i mean, i certainly knew that they were initially pursing this whole unmasking business and failing to find anything critical of the obama administration. i think they then turn their sights to try and undermine the fbi and the doj. now, we could see them doing that. we could see them issuing subpoenas. in terms of whether this group is working in parallel with other committees, though, i don't have much visibility into that. but it's more the same problem we saw early in the investigation when the chairman of the committee had difficulty removing himself from his role during the campaign of being a proxy for the white house. and here i think, again, we see some on our committee, including the chair, doing the work of the white house, doing the work of
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steve bannon and his allies rather than doing the work of the committee, which is supposed to be investigating russia as well as the connections between russia's active measures campaign and trump officials. >> i don't serve in congress so i don't know the answer to this question. is it weird to sort of plot a counterinvestigation to what the committee's investigating? >> yes, of course. it's highly irregular. i've never seen anything like it. it's all the more unusual in the intelligence committee, which has a long tradition of being very bipartisan and, in fact, had been bipartisan up until that trip that the chairman took to the white house where he pretended to obtain documents and then later presented them back to the white house. that was really, i think, a major body blow to our ability to work together. and then since that time, notwithstanding his promise to
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recuse himself, he never really did. he insisted on having the ultimate say and what subpoenas could go out and what could not go out as well as the scheduling of the witness interviews and the not scheduling of witness interviews so he's kept a leading hand here but not one devoted to the investigation. >> you're saying that nunes has vetoed subpoenas? >> yes. they were necessary to compel people to cooperate or to compel the production of documents that are directly relative to the investigation. those decisions are ultimately made by chairman nunes and those requests have been denied. >> there's reporting today from nbc that the attorney general has ordered people in the justice department to ask fbi investigators to go back over their investigation into the famed uranium 1 deal. there's two ways to interpret that. one is a worrying decision for an administration to essentially reopen an investigation to a political rival.
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the other is that sessions is dotting his i's and crossing his t's so he can go back to the administration and say there is nothing there. which do you think it is? >> either way, i find this deeply disturbing that the white house is essentially interfering with the operations of the justice department, that the policy that divides the white house from the administration of justice and properly so when it affects the white house is being broken down and we've now seen this in multiple ways. we saw it first when the white house urged the justice department to lift the gag rule on a witness in this uranium one investigation so it could be retarded. that violated white house policy. we then see the next step along those lines that the attorney general is now asking these agents about that investigation, potentially reopening it. we also saw a very disturbing sign last week when the justice department released to the press internal text messages of fbi
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personnel during the pen dent see of an inspector general investigation. that never happens. so why is it happening now? i think it's because the justice department is losing its independence from this white house and that is a real threat to our system of checks and balances. >> andrew mccabe, number two at the fbi, was before your committee today in close session, if i am not mistaken. you're not able to tell me what he said but can you explain why republican members seem so focused on mr. mccabe? >> well, i think they're focused on mr. mccabe because they see him as an opportunity to, again, try to tear at the fbi, tear at the investigation, tear at bob mueller. if they can just cities credit the fbi, they can get the country to go along with the firing of bob mueller. i don't think this is going to work but it's so deeply destructive to the whole institution of the justice department, fbi and also be smenching the reputation of
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andrew mccabe who has been a career public servant and people like bob mueller, another dedicated public servant. so it's hard to add up all of the flaws with what they're doing and what is danger it poses to our institutions. >> congressman adam schiff, thanks for being with me tonight. >> thank you. with me now, democratic sheldon white. i want to get your reaction to the news about jeff sessions directing people at the justice department to talk to fbi investigators about uranium one. >> well, jeff has recused himself from the russia investigation. so this gets perilously close to the investigation if the whole purpose of the enterprise is to distract attention if the white house is planning to throw up as
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much squid ink as it possibly can to distract from what mueller is up to and that's the intention of it and the attorney general who's recused with respect to mueller is participating in that effort, then i think we've got a pretty significant problem on our hands. the idea that you ask an agent at the conclusion of a case to go back and say could you take a second look, did you really -- did we turn over every page here, that's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's weird when it's a recused attorney general doing it for a case that is being pushed up as a counterweight or as a distraction to the underlying investigation that he's recused from. >> your colleague, mark warner, who is on, of course, the intelligence committee, gave a speech, i believe, yesterday. talking about what his red lines would be in terms of white house actions. what is your sense right now of
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where things stand? what are your red lines? >> well, i think everybody's red line for a long time has been what mark described. an effort to fire mueller or an effort to pardon material witnesses, which would very likely actually be an effort to obstruct justice and create its own perils has long, i think, been an absolute red line for democrats and i think whenever republicans are asked about this, they say, well, that's a read line for us or nobody's thinking that so we don't have to go there. the problem is that we're seeing this increasing barrage of phony disinformation being fired at the fbi and the department of justice and specifically at the mueller investigation.
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and all of that begins to look like they're softening up the public and particularly their base for some kind of an intervention in the investigation and as adam very clearly pointed out, the white house is not supposed to be involved in the investigative and criminal work of the department of justice and that wall should be absolutely i am penetrate able when it comes to mattering that the white house is a potential subject of the department of justice investigation. so the white house being all over this in so many ways and the attorney general being all over this in ways that may relate to the matter that he's recused from, it all has a really bad odor right now. >> do you trust that wall has remained in tact? which is to say, can you say definitively one way or the
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other the independence of the department has been breached? >> the department has to hold its own against constant efforts to breach it, including by the president himself. when the president sends out tweets that criticize the fbi or when he sends out tweets that challenge the credibility of jim comey, who is likely at some point going to be a witness in this investigation, those send signals to the political people in the department and even to eager line officials who might want the president's approval as to what it is that he wants to do and he ought to knock it off. i think there's actually some potential liability there because all it takes is a jury to believe beyond a reasonable doubt that some of these tweets were, in fact, intended to influence the grand jury. and then you've got obstruction of justice. >> final question, you were a "no" on the cr vote that just happened a short while ago. it passed with the majority of the democratic caucus voting no. a 17 or 16 members of the democratic caucus and angus king voting "yes." why were you a "no" vote?
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>> well, we wanted to send a strong message that the republicans need to work with us and pass a responsible spending measure. they've been completely fixated with the tax bill for so long, they haven't been able to do two things at once and we need to catch up and get the children's health insurance program funded and we have an opioid epidemic raging in america and we need to get money for and we have emergency relief we need to fund and then we've got all of these dreamer kids that we need to take care of and at the moment they are being just hopeless about getting things done and getting democrats and republicans that are in a room together and working these things out. i think many of us wanted to send a signal that you can't just your way through life. at some point you have to deal with democrats, be responsible, fund the things that need funding and stop acting like this is kind of government by the dark back room. >> senator sheldon whitehouse, thanks for your time tonight and merry christmas. >> merry christmas. still ahead, for the first time this cycle, i will speak the words, if the election were held today, democrats in strong shape for the 2020 election. steve kornacki is here with the big board in tow.
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congressman from new york joins me live in just two minutes. i think a serious part of an cannot live without it.
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whole, including nancy pelosi, has tried to tamp down the impeachment talk. chairman nadler has a relationship with president trump. congressman nadler is joining me now. congratulations on your committee. >> thank you very much. >> 54% of americans, which is shocking to me, i have to say, should congress hold impeachment hearings, 54% say yes. that's impeachment hearings. i'm sorry. 54% say no. i got that wrong. there's a plurality of democrats that want that to happen. >> my perspective is that it's too early to talk about
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impeachment hearings. we have to wait to see if the report of the special prosecutor and obstruction of justice. you can't hold impeachment hearings unless you're really convinced of two things. number one, that the president has committed impeachable offenses. there's no real proof yet. second of all, that you can convince, by the end of the process, a majority of americans, including a good fraction of those who voted for the president, that he must be removed from office. he shouldn't do the impeachment unless for arithmetic, you need two two-thirds in the senate. second of all, if you're really
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removing a president from office, you're in one sense nullifying the last election and it has to be seen by some percentage of the people who voted for him that you had no choice so that you don't have the country tied up in recriminations and bitterness for the next 20 years saying, we elected him and you stole the election from us. >> this sounds like someone who sort of -- what i hear from you is worrying about democratic legitimacy and institutional vitality if democrats were to pursue this path. >> well, if the evidence is there, then we are duty bound to pursue that path. if it is not, we must not. >> what have you learned about donald trump in the 40 years or so that you have interacted with him? >> well, what the public knows. he's a liar. he lies all the time. we know that. he stiffs his vendors. he stiffs everybody. you can't trust him. that's what i've learned. >> have you been at all
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surprised by how he's conducting himself in this first year given the time that you and him have gone at it, development deals, there's been actual contentious conflict over substantive issues between the two of you. has this played out how you thought it would? >> well, i didn't realize until he started becoming public on a national stage with the birtherism issue of his racist tendencies and his -- as we saw basically his racist tendencies. that i didn't see earlier on except i should have seen it when he took out that full-page ad back in 1989 urging the death penalty for the harlem five who were convicted unjustly. >> can you imagine a scenario in which we do get -- you may find yourself in 2018 as a minority member on the house judiciary committee that is essentially working overtime to kind of run a parallel investigation of an investigation or to run some sort of enterprise be a solving a president in the face of very contrary evidence.
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how do you think about preparing for that role? >> well, i think that would be very unfortunate. we have to do our job and our job is to let this -- first of all, to let the special prosecutor do his job and i would note that all of the criticism, all of it against the special prosecutor, against the fbi, first of all the institution that we depend on for democracy but all of it is quite decide the point. the fbi is prohibited by law to inquiring into the political opinions of its employees or its agents. how would the republicans feel if, when it was setting up an investigation of the president or of hillary clinton, they asked the agents, what is your political opinion? if you want to say that the investigation is biased, you have to show that it is biased, not that the people working on it, whatever their private/political opinions might
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be. >> that's precisely what they are making, in an attempt, manifestly, to either discredit it or precipitate an actual investigation. >> well, that's exactly right. and to discredit the special prosecutor and to discredit the fbi is destructive of some of the institutions we depend on to get justice and to defend democracy to try to -- well, i'll leave it at that. >> congressman jerry nadler, i appreciate you joining me. >> thank you. up next, almost 4 million people have signed his petition for impeachment. tom steyer will be here next. it may be time for a change.
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billionaire environmental ist and political donor tom steyer. he's joining me now. tom, i've seen a lot of people critical of the ad campaign for the following reason. they basically jumping off of what congressman nadler just said. he said, look, impeachment is not just some wand you wave and gathering petitions is all well and good. if there's either not the presentation of the necessary evidence or any kind of democratic legitimacy to it, it doesn't do anything. what do you say to that?
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>> well, chris, i'm not a lawyer and i've heard that criticism so we got four constitutional lawyers to do a press conference to go through eight different ways in which donald trump has definitely met the criteria for impeachment, including obstruction of justice, and we put that on the web. i listened to congressman nadler talk about waiting for mr. mueller's investigation to conclude and i'm entirely behind mr. mueller's investigation. but one of the lines in the sand is, if this president fires mr. mueller, that would be a line in the sand to show that he was obstructing justice. he's already fired mr. comey for the russian investigation, which is the exact same thing and he said on tv, i did it because of the russian thing. we see today that the -- a judge in new york said only the congress can -- has standing to go after the president on emoluments, which is when you're taking money from foreign governments. it's absolutely forbidden and this president has absolutely done it since the very first day.
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so he has clearly met the criteria for impeachment and he is a danger to the health and safety of the american people and he is a danger to the health and safety of our democracy. >> okay. but let's say that your ultimate goal is impeachment. the numbers are still the numbers. the republicans are not going to impeach him, i think, barring some new evidence. there are people who say, why would you spend $20 million on this rather than some other tactical enterprise like helping candidates in contested races or registering a lot of voters if what necessarily is a precondition to the outcome you want is greater political power for the opposition party. >> so, let me take that in two parts, if you don't mind, chris. >> sure. >> first of all, we're a huge grassroots organization. in 2016, we knocked on 12.5 million doors, registered about a million three people in the united states of america and we were on 370 college campuses. so all the things that those
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people are suggesting, we're doing. we're already on the ground doing those things. the fact of the matter is, if you look at what has happened since october 20, at that point there were two congress people talking about impeachment openly. they held a vote a couple weeks ago. that number went from 2 to 58. if you look yesterday, there were 171 congress people who said that firing mueller would be something that they absolutely couldn't stand. so, in fact, if you look at where the movement is to judge this president as absolutely unfit and absolutely dangerous to the american people, we can see it not only in the overwhelming response from american citizens to sign our petition but also you can see movement even inside the beltway from the people in congress and the senate as they realize the american people are scared of this president and they realize that he's a danger to them and their families and their communities.
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>> all right. tom steyer, thanks for your time tonight. >> thanks, chris. coming up, the really early polling shows dramatic swings in favor of the democratic party. steve kornacki is here for a really early 2018 breakdown right after this break.
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right now, in a generic ballot, meaning people were asked whether they would vote for a democrat or republican, democrats are winning by double digits.
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beating a republican by 13 points, which is big, the biggest lead so far this year. as far as what that would mean for the balance of power in the house after next year's election, i want to bring in steve kornacki. steve, how are things looking right now a little less than a year before the midterms? >> well, we have a couple of different metrics we can look at. the generic ballot speaks for itself. when the party is up 13 points, double digits, historically that's great news for the party. here's something else we can look at. the approval rating of the president, that matters a lot in midterm elections. donald trump in the most recent gallup polling tracks at 35%. look at the approval rating in 2010 and bush in '06, the iraq war, post katrina, remember that midterm. republicans lost the house. he was sitting at 38.
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you see, trump's very much in line here with what you'd expect to see from a president whose party takes a sha lacking. you've got the approval rating and the generic ballot. republicans have won a lot of the special elections but the democrats have cut into the trump margin. put it all together, 24. we know that's the magic number for democrats if they want to win back the house, net gain of 24. what does the playing field look like? where would they look? here's sort of the first wrung you would look at. 23 districts here almost gets you to that magic number of 24. 23 districts here and she's retiring and this is one where democrats really like their chances and republican incumbents running like barbara comstock, d.c. suburbs look so well and districts that hillary clinton won. that's sort of the first tier here. some of these incumbents are very entrenched locally but this is the first line. 23 there. next, here is this.
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13 districts here where donald trump won but his margin was less than five points. again, take a look at new jersey, two in particular with this tax bill and the implications for a state like new jersey. these are two right here. this is rodney, frank, he's actually retiring but these are districts, especially when you talk about those college-educated white suburbanites, these come into
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play and then the next tier, trump won but it was a single digit margin. we're talking less than ten points. you could tack on another two dozen. what you have here is in that radius of either trump lost or won by ten points. you're looking at 59. now, obviously to get a 59, that would be historic. it was 54 for republicans in 1984 but that gives you the targets you're looking at here and one thing to note as well, i have to say, there are these 59 potentially these three tiers here, a few out there, ten seats out there that democrats hold that trump won. another piece of that would be defending those seats as well. >> it's interesting, you're talking about the mother load in california which is where i've been focused, california's going to get hit. those are relatively affluent districts in a high-tax state where those voters are most likely going to take a hit from this tax bill. they only lost one or two votes in the california delegation which speaks to kevin mccarthy but might open them up to additional exposure. >> absolutely. california, new york, new
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jersey, same thing and the other lesson from 2010, remember, democrats voted against obamacare thinking this is going to be unpopular. i'll say it myself, didn't see much of a difference between the democrats who voted for or against it and there was a national wave against it and maybe those votes don't matter. >> right now we've got a generic ballot which is the top-line indicator. it's coming in at 11, 12, 13. it's opened up this week in the polling average. that's been an indication of the direction. >> and the approval rating. yes, it can go up. but here's the thing, with donald trump, his top number approval this year is 46%. >> right. >> his first week in office, his honeymoon, 46 in gallup, that's where he peaked. he'd have to get above his presidency to get close to the range where these things don't turn into waves.
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>> steve kornacki, thank you for that. you'd be surprised how deep the gop divide is. that's after "thing 1" and "thing 2" next.
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"thing 1" tonight, the republicans have jammed through their tax bill and they need to figure out what exactly they just made into law. the day of the vote, many republicans couldn't answer basic questions about the bill. >> do you no he what the brackets are on this bill? >> this is an amazing bill that is going to help the entire country and the middle class. i've got to run to vote. >> do you know what the tax brackets are? >> i do. >> which are? >> you know the brackets, though? >> i do know the brackets. i know the brackets. >> i'm getting more familiar with it every day.
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>> do you though what the tax brackets are in this bill? do you know what they are, though? >> yeah. >> what are they? >> yeah. yeah. i have to go back. >> not off the top of your head? >> yeah. >> 18 lawmakers hater, he found one who knew the answer but beyond the specific details, one of the most senior officials in the white house doesn't seem to understand fundamentally what the bill does or, more troublingly, how tax filing works in general. and that's "thing 2" in 60 seconds.
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ivanka, good morning to you. >> congratulations. >> thank you, thank you. what a day to be here to celebrate. >> no kidding.
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>> president trump's senior adviser and daughter joined trump tv today several strange and misleading claims, including this. >> i'm really looking forward to doing a lot of traveling in april when people realize the effect that this has, both on the process of filling out their taxes, the vast majority will be doing so on a single postcard. >> so first off, the process of filling out your taxes doesn't change things, april. if you ever, ever filled out your own taxes or understand the most basic thing there is to understand about tax filing, you know that when you file your taxes in april, it's for the previous year. so in april 2018, you file your taxes for 2017 taxes, which are not affected by the new law that the president's daughter was talking about. after hours of ridicule as people explained taxes 101 on twitter, all across america people are talking about how cumbersome the old tax code is. right.
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that's what she meant there, as you can tell from the context. it seems no one told senior adviser ivanka trump that the whole tax implication postcard thing didn't just happen. the bill doesn't actually simplify the tax code. in many ways, it adds more complexity which is why tax experts say you should not expect a postcard tax return. that was just a prop. >> great job. i didn't know i was going to be given a prop. on inauguration day of this year, several hundred protesters gathered in the streets of
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on inauguration day of this year, several hundred protesters gathered in the streets of washington to, in the words of the organizers of the protest, disrupt trump's first day in office.
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you can see them there. now, some participants, likely a small handful, engaged in vandalism and property destruction, breaking shop windows and perhaps most memorably setting a limousine on camera. they arrested people around the protest and charged over 200 of them with crimes. in a trial this past month against the first six defendants, trump's department of justice originally attempted to prosecute those first six defendants for felony incitement of riots only to have the judge throw out those charges because, wait for it, the government had no evidence they had incited a riot but the judge still let the government proceed with a variety of misdemeanor charges. all of those defendants, an oncology nurse, ph.d. student, say they never engaged in property destruction. and here is what made this entire enterprise so weird. the assistant u.s. attorney who was conceded there is no evidence the defendants caused any of that damage directly. in fact, the most memorable act of destruction, the limo fire was lit on fire after the defendants had been arrested, so they probably weren't the ones that lit that on fire.
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no, instead, the government's theory of the case because they attended the protest peacefully, they were guilty of a crime. the whole government case rested on an idea attending a protest where sole break windows nearby makes you a criminal even if you happen to be standing on the street corner when the cops by come. well, luckily today, sanity and the first amendment prevailed and a jury found all six defendants not guilty on all charges. there are still, however, 166 defendants waiting for trials and the doj is vowing to proceed but jeff sessions should throw in the towel on the rest if he has respect for the constitution he claims to so dearly loves.
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with me now, two of the leading conservative voices of the leading trump movement facing criticism for their allies, jennifer ruben, columnist for "the washington post." i wanted to have this conversation with both of you, jennifer, where you are in the trump era because there is a piece attacking you saying you're no longer a conservative. the trump caused you to abandon the principles, the things you liked before like cutting the corporate tax rate or moving the embassy to jerusalem and essentially, you left conservatism and trump has
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driven you mad. i'm genuinely curious how you define yourself politically at this moment? >> alone without a party. actually, i've been pretty consistent in my views. i don't like this dog's breakfast of a bill. i favor generally moving the embassy to israel but not in these circumstances at a time israel is getting along nicely with sunni neighbors. i think of myself as a small liberal or neo conservative that believes some government, not a lot of government, but some vigorous government is necessary and america needs to lead in the world and things like the rule of law, the character of our elected leaders matter and i think i've stayed pretty much where i've been for awhile now. i've always been on the free trade, open immigration side of things.
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the party in my view lost its mind, and they will come out of it, although, i have a lot less confidence than perhaps bill does that the fever will break, so in the meantime, i'm where i am and i give it to the trump fans and they don't like it and they hit back and that's good. >> so bill, first of all, i feel like the neo conservatives have formed a crucible of the trumpers, max boot, a number of people who i think of as the nero conservative school that are very, very supportive of the iraq war, supportive of george bush's foreign policy and after a year, in many ways, you can say donald trump, the way he talks about freedom and vladimir putin aside from the iran deal to moving the embassy to jerusalem to the new agreement we'll sell weapons to ukraine governed in foreign policy. what is not to like? >> no, i don't think so.
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i think advisors pushed him in a good direction on choices and i support some of those. i was in japan a couple weeks ago, gave a couple talks to see sights, fantastically interesting country, but you talk privately to the people there and they got along with trump, the prime minister did a good job of managing the relationship. you talk to them and they are worried about the alliance and trump's reliabilitity and backing out, which both clinton and trump support. it was a real blow to the leadership. i think from a traditional neo conservative foreign policy view, there is a lot to worry about in trump's foreign policy. not as bad as some feared but could be very bad. the real crisis is coming in the next year or two. huge amount, a lot trump has done that i disapprove of but the economy chugged ahead. the world hasn't blown up yet. we'll see what happens. >> there is 1,000, i know you're not putting this out. there is like 1,000 dead people in puerto rico out power and that's one big crisis he had to deal with.
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jennifer, you were going to say something. >> yeah, i was going to say that saying except for russia is like except for that, mrs. lincoln, how was the play? that was a big deal. the fact we have a president of the united states that goes embracing putin and the chinese leader and turkish president, embraces them, won't recognize an attack on democracy is a big deal with me. so i think for that reason, also for his complete destain for values based on foreign policy, i might not have agreed with president obama on a lot of things, but he never, i think, diminished or denigrated the sense that democracy is a good thing and having democratic allies is a good thing. this president couldn't careless. >> the interesting question, i guess, seems to me the
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institutions have checked trump quite a lot in the first year. inform and formal institutions, separation of power, the court, the legal system, but federalism. >> public opinion. >> the media. but also, inside the government and white house, i think, it's turned out he hasn't been able to do a lot of things he might have instinctively wanted to do or thought he could do. that's been good from my point of view. it's a very interesting question. he's done damage to the institutions and democratic norms but look, this is where i come back to things like the special counsel, the rule of law. those matter the most, and that's worrisome, i would say. i hope the institutions can win against trump but i think that's going to be a very interesting year, very tough year. >> that's a big question. look forward to both of you, writing about the god that failed said to be published in four years.
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>> only when you write your essay how progressive is a big myth. >> that is "all in" for this evening. the 11th hour with brian williams is next. >> the president is not firing robert mueller while calling the russia investigation a hoax. and yet, from the doj, a new diversionary tactic emerges. trotting out uranium one involving hillary clinton. and steve bannon is at it begin, casting doubts on his old boss, casting aspurgss to the president's daughter, and spelling out the odds of trump finishing his term in office. the 11th hour begins now. . and on this thursday night, good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters in new york. day 336 of the trump administration, as we watch the


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